Agroforestry: Water Use Efficiency

Authored by: James R. Brandle , Laurie Hodges , Xinhua Zhou

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120010098

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Abstract

Agroforestry is the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into agricultural systems. In agricultural systems, water is often the major factor limiting growth. When water availability is limited as a result of limited supply or high cost, its efficient use becomes critical to successful production systems. This entry focuses on water use efficiency (WUE), defined as the amount of biomass (or grain) produced per unit of land area for each unit of water consumed. Because agroforestry practices alter the microclimate of adjacent fields, they affect WUE of plants growing in those fields.

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